4 Overlooked Civil Rights Influencers

During Black History Month, we are reminded of the civil rights leaders that fought to make our society what it is today. We know about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X. However, there are also more important figures that teachers really don’t teach us about in school.

1. Mamie Till Mobley

Mobley was not much of an activist, however she advocated for underprivileged children and against racial injustice. You all know the story of the brutal murder of her son, Emmett Till. In her time of grieving, she conducted the largest single civil rights demonstration ever in America. She left the casket open at Emmett’s funeral so that everyone could see what had happened to her child. Over 100,000 people saw his body.

2. Maude Ballou

Ballou was a program director for Montgomery’s first black radio station when Martin Luther King Jr. offered her the position of being his personal secretary. This was a risk because of all the hatred that King faced on a daily. KKK members would watch her at work and she got calls threatening her children also. However, she kept on working for the sake of helping Martin Luther King change society.

3. Coretta Scott King

Martin’s wife was by her husband’s side in what he and other Americans were fighting for. After his assassination, she got more involved with activism. There were tireless campaigns in order to make King’s birthday a national holiday and she also led the protest for sanitation workers in Memphis.

4. Claudette Colvin

She was the first person in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat to a white woman on the bus in 1955. She was only 15 years old when she got arrested and nine months later, Rosa Parks, who we know very well, did the same exact thing.


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